Review by Iyamtebist
Reviewed: 03/22/16 | Updated: 01/23/17
A clear vission of carlessness in every concievable way.
Disclaimer: Tokyo Hosto is a kinetic visual novel. This means that it is entirely text based and is all reading and no gameplay. So please do not leave negative responses asking about the gameplay. Also dont play it.
Tokyo Hosto flat out baffles me with its level of badness. As I am reviewing this, I am currently struggling to put into words how insulting it is that this game exists. It is insulting in the sense that it expects any gamer to enjoy this, in the fact that it expects people to pay five dollars for this, and in the sense that one can tell no ounce of care was ever given to this piece of atrocious shovelware.
Even The Interview came across as a game that tried to pass itself off as decent. Even Starless Nymphomaniacs Paradise was trying something (although forgive me if I still hate the game that caused literal psychological trauma more than this), but this? This game is seriously unbelievable simply in the fact that it exists.
First of all, Id like to start out by saying that this game does not even work properly, as in if when you try to start up the game, nothing will happen. I initially thought something may have just been wrong with my program when trying to start the game, but upon checking the games steam discussions, I knew I saw I was not the only one. It turns out that the games exe file is not programmed correctly and the player will need to rename the file manually in order to get the game to play. Yes, you read correctly; the game will not even function unless you manually rename the game's exe file. This level of developer incompetence is embarrassing.
Even some of the most buggy and glitchy games on Steam greenlight will at least start up straight after you download them. What excuse is there for this? Even worse is that it has been several months since the games release, and this still has not been fixed. As such, this would normally be an instant one out of 10 in any case. However, here, the game would probably still receive the same score or would get off with a two at most, and even then it would only be because I laughed at how ridiculous it was at points.
Outhouse High School Host Club
Our story is about someone named Jayson, a young high school student that, as the game puts it, has no skills or credentials for anything other than hitting on women. As such, he gets a job at a host club, a bar where attractive men hang out with and flirt with female customers. He is then trained by Toby Lau, whom is nicknamed Homo Lau because hes a home owner. Yep, thats the level of humor were dealing with here.
Even worse is the fact that the game insists on hammering it down our throats the Toby Lau is so far in the closet that hes practically in Narnia, because apparently our developers are still in second grade and think ha ha its funny because hes gay is a substitute for not only humor but character depth. Also there is the fact that the top host at your host club is also a camp gay whom they are even less than subtle about, and even more is he keeps talking about his special package.
The game then chronicles Jaysons social situations with various girls whom he is hosting for, as well as other shallow flat characters that this game subjects you to in a conversation system that comes down to pick the right answer or start over. The only form of interaction that the game has is choosing an answer, and you cannot continue unless you choose the right one. This completely defeats the point of having these choices in the first place and it makes one wonder why they exist other than to waste time.
Furthermore, the choices have no logical connection to the events and you will essentially be penalized at random for things you could not have seen coming. Some examples of this games leap in logic are ones where commenting on someones appearance, something that would normally lead on to being a compliment, will cause your Jayson to say youre ugly. Another one has him entertaining a guest by saying something boring which leads to an intelligent conversation about business. This leads to the woman commenting on how hosts are usually airheads but hes smart, which turns her on leads to her taking off her clothes. This causes Toby to catch you and he fires you for what she did.
On top of this, there are points where the right answers include things like act like a robot and make race car noises while other times they will make you look like an idiot. Tokyo Hosto has no sense of consistency or coherence with its conversation system. Plumbers Dont Where Ties had a better sense of coherency to its plot and felt less absurd and insane.
To top it all off, I need to talk about how It ends. The games ends with Jayson having successfully accomplished his role, only for the narrator to reveal that Jayson is a dog having a dream. This is randomly brought up with no sense of foreshadowing, no context, no explanation, and is just put as what I assume was meant to be a joke. Im not taking anything out of context; it really is that Jayson is actually a dog. Mildly amusing maybe, but this clearly demonstrates something. Baller Industries was not taking this game seriously. For those who claim that Im just taking a joke too seriously, I will need to explain something.
There is a serious difference between a game not taking itself seriously, and the developer not taking their game seriously. The latter demonstrates that they did not think highly enough of their own game to actually give a satisfying ending nor did they care for their own world or characters. This proves that they knew their story was crap, because otherwise they would not have had such an insulting ending. Imagine if a game like Silent Hill 2 ended with but youre a dog... wait a minute.
So I have talked about how bad the games storyline is and how horribly designed the conversation system is, all that is left are the graphics. Simply put, the art style in Tokyo Hosto is horrendous. I have seen better looking fetish porn on DeviantART than in Tokyo Hosto (Im not exaggerating). Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme looks like Picasso compared to Tokyo Hostos art style. Our characters barely even look human and are all hideously deformed and unsexy. Considering how much this game relies on fanservice that is not a good thing.
Also of note is that there is voice acting but no lip synching, and one can still hear static while some of the voice clips are playing but others will be fine. There is also no animation so you will just be starring at a still drawing while listening to horribly acted voice clips with no emotion put into them at all.
Tokyo Hosto is $5.00 on Steam and is over in under an hour. That goes to show you that content wise, it is not any good either. However, it being over early is probably the best thing about it. Well actually, probably the best thing is that it made me laugh at some point, but it was only because of just how absurdly and bafflingly ridiculous this game was. Of course it is funny at first, but after a while, it starts to dawn that this was actually released as a finished product and people were expected to pay actual money for it.
This was Baller Industrys sixth game, and it is clear they have shown no signs of making a competent title seeing as how each one I have looked up appeared Identical to this. I normally dont like to call out an entire developer like this, but if a company repeatedly makes games like this then damn it Im going to call them out. If the team is serious about their work, then they seriously need to step up their ball game.
Product Release: Tokyo Hosto (US, 06/02/15)
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